The National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, Zone D, on Saturday, appointed an Ibadan-based philanthropist and the Group Chief Executive Officer of Ogunsola Olusina and Associates, Hon Ogunsola Olusina John, as a Patron of the Association.
Chairman, Zone D axis of the Group, Comrade Alao John, speaking during the inauguration of the Association, which held at the Conference Hall of the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Jericho Hill, Ibadan, stated that Hon. Olusina, who hails from Oluyole Constituency of Oyo State, was appointed because of his unalloyed dedication and commitment to serve humanity and student community.
Hon. Olusina, who also doubles as a guest lecturer at the event, spoke on role of ‘students as strategy for strengthening community engagement in Nigeria’, encouraged them on the need to give their different inputs to help out others in the community.
Speaking further, he described community engagement as a way in which individuals interact and co-create within a group, adding that community engagement strategy has the ability to create, enhance, and sustain social ties among community members.
He said: “The best communities are made up of supportive, enthusiastic and engaged members who are always keen to share their ideas, as a student, you need to give your input and help out others in the community.
“While this sounds great on paper, the problem of how to increase community engagement is one that many people struggle with.
“It can also increase community members’ sense of belonging and commitment to the community.
“In virtual communities, members contribute, learn, and share with others in the community by posting, commenting and liking content in a group.
“You, as a student, the knowledge already gained from education should not be kept to yourself, it should be disseminated to assist in creating a sustainable community, through which ideas can be turned into realities and positive impacts be made to both the old, the average and most especially the upcomings, by so doing, quality future will be guaranteed with a creative-thinking community.”
While emphasising on the importance of community engagement, he noted that it will help build trust, increase people’s loyalty, empower community members, provide access to multiple perspectives and expertise, create a culture of collaboration and improve communication.
Hon. Olusina, however charged the students to build on their community engagement strategies, and make it a top priority with the aim of winning the war against criminality.
“Be guided that knowledge and ideas are couples. As students, you should cooperate to develop peer group within your community both in school and at home, that will serve the whistle-blowing mechanism towards ensuring that crimes are minimised and we have more wins against criminality.
“This engagement will guarantee to-do energy for members by developing means of supporting the plans and ideas sharing will flow automatically. This should be your top priority and it is something to keep in front of your mind when building your community engagement strategy,” he concluded.